Top Ten April 24

The Rocky Mountain building is starting to see a major facelift in Downtown Great Falls. Alluvion Health purchased the building in 2019 and is taking on the task of the renovation to later house all its services under one roof.

Here is our Top 17 for this week celebrating work and successes to grow and strengthen the Great Falls regional economy — Montana’s Golden Triangle. And, sharing business resources and skill-building opportunities to empower your success.

1) The Great Falls City Commission unanimously supported two steps forward for downtown revitalization. The Gibson hotel development was approved for a tax abatement that will help this project move forward. See the Great Falls Tribune. Expansion of the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) was approved, adding 20 more parcels; see The Electric. The Great Falls City Commission also unanimously approved a tax abatement helping the Great Falls Clinic hospital expansion to move forward; see The Electric.

2) We held the kick-off meeting of the Health and Bioscience Economic Development Strategy Steering Committee with our consultants from Tripp Umbach. Thank you to the local and regional partners from north central Montana who are helping with this project, an important part of our deep-dive strategic planning. We’re digging into how we can leverage the region’s excellent healthcare and health education assets to nurture health and bioscience industries in the region. If you know of an organization or business in our region who we should invite to the conversation, please contact Jake Clark at

3) Congratulations to Gayle Fisher, long-time leader of Central Montana Tourism, on being recognized with the Legacy Award at the 2022 Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Recreation!

4) Time to register for The Fire Within 2022 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana and Alluvion Health! May 19 starting at 5:30 PM at the Haute Hive in Downtown Great Falls. Registration is capped so register early here.

5) Logan Health – Shelby announced the certification of its cardiovascular rehabilitation program by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR); see Cut Bank Pioneer Press. The Atrium Mall in Havre is undergoing remodeling; see Havre Daily News.

6) We continue to work with business owners trying to increase the amount of their SBA COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). If your business is running into brick wall after brick wall with the SBA in the increase process, got a denial for an incorrect reason, have closed your loan but haven’t received the funds yet, or could use some insights in how COVID EIDL funds can and cannot be used, contact Jason at 406-750-0314 or

7) Great Falls Tourism boards unanimously adopted its FY2023 Business Plan detailing strategies, objectives and tactics for tourism industry recovery and growth.

8) Join us and other business resource partners for a Business Pitch In Event on April 28th at 6:00 PM at the Cut Bank Creek Brewery in Cut Bank. Our Business Pitch In events are designed to spur innovation and entrepreneurship and give attendees an opportunity to pitch, discuss their business idea, and meet like-minded people. We’re excited to bring these in-person fun events back! If you would like to partner with us to hold a Business Pitch In event, please contact Lyndsay at or 1-406-590-1539.

9) Area Development published its annual survey of corporate site selection factors. The five factors scoring highest with over 90% of corporations rating as very important or important were labor costs, availability of skilled labor, energy availability and costs, inbound/outbound shipping costs, and highway accessibility. The eight factors scoring second highest with over 80% of corporations rating as very important or important were raw materials availability, corporate tax rate, state and local incentives, environmental regulations, tax exemptions, quality of life, occupancy or construction costs, and right to work state.

10) Area Development also published its annual survey of site selection consultants. Over 75% of the consultants rated the following site selection factors as very important or important to their clients (in rating order): proximity to major markets, availability of skilled labor, highway accessibility, state and local incentives, proximity to suppliers, available land, energy availability and costs, expedited or fast-track permitting, occupancy or construction costs, tax exemptions, available buildings, inbound/outbound shipping costs, labor costs, raw materials availability, training programs/technical schools, environmental regulations, availability of unskilled labor, and quality of life. These surveys included 28 site selection factors. Every company’s siting decision is different. We often have only a few days to respond to lengthy requests for information that can run into hundreds of siting factors.

11) Do you have space you are hoping to lease? We routinely get requests for spaces from companies interested in locating in the Great Falls trade area. We are currently looking for a 2,000 square foot workshop with a loading dock and three-phase power with room to grow. The first places we look and refer all commercial space inquiries to is on and through our local broker investors. If you have space available that is not on Loopnet and/or listed with a local broker, it will likely get missed by businesses looking for space. Talk with Jake Clark on our team at 406-403-4937.

12) Save the dates for four new trainings we’ve recently added to our Business Education Calendar this summer. We’ll be hosting our cash flow and profitability course Profit Mastery on July 8th and July 15th. We’re also launching a new training to inspire and educate entrepreneurs about becoming a franchise owner. Becoming a Franchisee: An Alternate Path to Business Ownership will be hosted in-person July 29 and via a two-part webinar August 11 and August 18.

13) Join us for the June Strategic Teaming Alliance Roundtable (STAR) hosted by PTAC in alliance with Northrop Grumman Corporation on June 16 at 8:00 AM MST. This is the second event in a series of STAR roundtables designed to assist businesses with navigating and benefiting from doing business with the federal government and large federal contractors (often referred to as Primes). Connect with panelists from businesses that are currently successfully performing as prime and subcontractors. Learn helpful tips to assist you in achieving your government contracting goals. REGISTER!

14) USDA launched a Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) to help compensate producers with their livestock losses incurred by adverse weather or attacks by animals reintroduced into the wild by the Federal Government. LIP payments are equal to 75% the average fair market value of the livestock. For more information visit the USDA website here.

15) Our Executive Committee approved commissioning a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) Growth Model to help us develop a business plan for continuing to expand our loan capital to keep pace with gap and bridge financing needs in the region that our bank and credit union partners cannot fill. We currently have $19 million in loan capital which is not enough to meet immediate opportunities to enable projects to move into construction this quarter. We have borrowed $2,563,226 in the last year to increase our loan capital and have another $2 million in requests pending to borrow additional loan capital. We are also seeking local and state pass through of federal pandemic recovery funds that we could use to get more projects moving forward.

16) GFDA’s Executive Committee also approved moving ahead with a much needed overhaul of our website.

17) THANK YOU to our investors and public partners for their continued support! Because of them, our team can keep working towards our mission of growing and diversifying the regional economy and providing higher wage opportunities for the community. Recent investments include: Pacesetter Division—Pasta Montana; Community Division—Walmart. They are champions of Great Falls and support economic development. If YOU want to support the economic development of the region, reach out to Investment Director Jenn Gallmeier at 406-781-9499 or

Have a great week!

Brett Doney
President & CEO


Curious to see how these projects pencil out?For each of the vision projects we have project analysis that includes Project Descriptions, Cash Flow Projections, and Rent Roll Summaries.